The founder of OpenAI wants to replace humans with AI
Sam Altman has recently expressed concerns about using general artificial intelligence (AGI) instead of humans.
Elizabeth Weil, a writer for The New Yorker, refers to Sam Altman’s recent profile, stating that the CEO of OpenAI has a worrisome inclination towards employing “average humans” with the help of AGI.
Sam Altman hopes that AGI can reach the level of average human intelligence to be employed as a collaborator. It appears that Altman is genuinely interested in replacing regular human labor with AGI, and although this idea has not yet been realized, it is quite alarming.
According to Insider, this is not the first time Altman has mentioned using AI instead of humans. In a 2022 interview with the Lex Fridman podcast, he explained that AI theoretically could perform any task that his remote colleagues do with computers.
At that time, Altman stated that AI capabilities include learning and tasks like becoming a professional coder. According to Altman’s perspective, if you have an average life, you might soon be unemployed.
Altman is not the only prominent figure in AI who uses concerning terms and ideas. The phrase “average humans” is frequently used in AI-related blogs, and even CNBC has published an article titled “How to talk about AI like a human.”
A blog post by an AI startup also presents a viewpoint similar to Altman’s. In a section of this post, it states:
Ultimately, when we seriously develop AGI, it will provide capabilities on par with an average human and have the potential to become an expert in various fields.
Brent Mittelstadt, the Research Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, told Insider:
Comparing AI even to the idea of average humans is somewhat demeaning. I find this comparison and the term “average humans” concerning.
Mittelstadt added that there is currently no precise and measurable comparison for AI in research related to this technology, and the concept of an “average human” has deliberately been used compared to Altman’s viewpoint to consider its very specific baseline meaning.
AI performance and human intelligence are significantly different, and equating them is incorrect. The Oxford researcher stated in another part of his explanation:
“Comparing AI to an average human is somewhat demeaning.”
Henry Shulman, an expert in AI ethics and a professor at the University of Cambridge, also told Insider:
“What current AI architectures and models have shown is that they can achieve ordinary human-level performance. This feature, in and of itself, is not problematic. I feel that when we enter issues like intelligence, people become more sensitive, and there are convincing reasons for that.”
What has been said provides a general and discouraging overview of Altman’s ideas, significantly impacting the industry. He often talks and argues about saving the world, suggesting we can use AI to address climate change, create global prosperity, generate clean energy, and more. The CEO of OpenAI has stated that his company’s mission is to ensure that AGI if it exists, will benefit humanity.
Certainly, people have very different ideas about saving the world or the equal benefit of AI for all individuals. It has been stated that Altman views humanity through statistics, numbers, and the term “average” as a measurable entity, and from his perspective, AI is ready to replace humans.